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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Parent Coordinator

What is a parent coordinator?

A parent coordinator is a mental health professional who helps parents resolve conflicts about parenting issues. A parent coordinator's qualifications and role are governed by Code of Judicial Administration Rule 4-509. The services of a parent coordinator may be ordered by the court with or without the stipulation of both parties. The forms and procedures on this webpage apply when a party wants to ask the court to appoint a parent coordinator.

A parent coordinator has expertise in child development and helps parents resolve their differences by offering advice about the needs of the children and the workability of various parenting plans. The parents are not obligated to take the advice offered and the discussions and recommendations are confidential.


What does a parent coordinator do?

A parent coordinator may be appointed to help parents write a parenting plan that works for their children and their family situation. With the parents' permission, any agreed upon plan or part of a plan can be forwarded to the parents' attorneys for final review. This plan can be incorporated in the divorce decree or other court order.

A parent coordinator may also be appointed to help parents resolve differences about the implementation of an established parenting plan or to resolve differences about issues that are not covered by the plan. For example, if the parents are having difficulty deciding about a school placement for a child and have been ordered to resolve their differences through parent coordination, a parent coordinator may provide additional valuable input. By meeting with a parent coordinator, parents may be able resolve their differences.


What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan outlines how the parents will raise their children. It encourages the parents to think in advance about how to make decisions and resolve disagreements. The result will be more predictability and stability for the children and less stress and anxiety. A parenting plan is required for shared parenting arrangements and is advisable in other parenting arrangements. For more information, see our webpage on Parenting Plans.


How do I find a parent coordinator?

Attorneys may be aware of practitioners who meet the qualifications of Rule 4-509 and who offer this service. Many custody evaluators meet the qualifications. Custody evaluators who do not perform this service may be able to refer you to someone who does. Other mental health professionals may also qualify. The court does not have a list of parent coordinators.


Who pays the parent coordinator?

The order appointing a parent coordinator will designate which parent(s) are responsible for paying the parent coordinator and how much.


What is the time-line for parent coordination?

Parent coordination may occur soon after the separation and before or after mediation. Sometimes both mediation and parent coordination are needed to write a parenting plan. Parent coordination may also occur when differences are referred to the court after a divorce decree.


What happens if I agree on a parenting plan after parent coordination?

The parent coordinator may provide to the parties and their attorneys a summary of the agreed-upon features of a parenting plan, but the parties and their attorneys must write the parenting plan and file it with the court. For information and forms, see our webpage on Parenting Plans.


What happens if I don't agree on a parenting plan after parent coordination?

Other ways of arriving at a parenting plan, such as through a custody evaluation, may be proposed to the court.


When is parent coordination not appropriate?

For parent coordination to be effective, both parents need to agree that it is in the best interests of the children to have an on-going relationship with both parents or that assistance would help the parents to follow the court's orders. The parents should be able to meet in an office together with the parent coordinator, without their attorneys, and discuss in good faith the best interests of the children.

Parent coordination is not appropriate if one parent is afraid of retaliation from the other or does not feel that they can be honest and forthright about their preferences. Parent coordination is not appropriate if a parent believes that the other parent is a danger to the child or that they must keep secrets about the child from the other parent.

If there is a protective order or no contact order against either party, the court will have to decide whether parent coordination should be an exception to the order.


Resources for parent coordinators

A parent coordinator should thoroughly read Code of Judicial Administration Rule 4-509 and be prepared to complete the Parent Coordinator's Forms listed below before offering their services.


Forms


Forms for Motions Decided by a Judge


Forms for the Moving Party

Required forms for the moving party
  • Motion to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
    (filed after all documents have been filed, or the time has passed for the other party to respond)
  • Order on Motion to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
Optional Forms for the Moving Party
  • Stipulation to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
    (if the other party agrees to the motion after it has been filed)
  • Statement Supporting the Motion - PDF | Word
    (if someone other than the moving party has a statement to make)
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (if the other party has disagreed with the motion and presented a new matter in their response, and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
    (if a hearing is requested)
  • Objection to Form of Order - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order)
Forms for the Opposing Party

Required forms for the opposing party
  • Memorandum Opposing Motion - PDF | Word
Optional forms for the opposing party
  • Stipulation to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
    (if the other party agrees to the motion after it has been filed)
  • Counter Motion - PDF | Word
    (if the opposing party has new arguments to make not presented in the moving party's motion)
  • Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
    (if a hearing is requested)
  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
    (if the other party has not filed this document)
  • Order on Motion to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
    (if the opposing party is directed to complete the order)
  • Objection to Form of Order - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order)

Forms for Motions Decided by a Commissioner


Forms for the Moving Party

Required forms for the moving party
  • Motion to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
  • Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
    (if a hearing is requested)
  • Order on Motion to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
Optional forms for the moving party
  • Affidavit with Exhibit(s) - PDF | Word
    (to be used with exhibits, if any)
  • Exhibit Summary - PDF | Word
    (to be used to describe voluminous exhibits, if any)
  • Stipulation to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
    (if the other party agrees to the motion after it has been filed)
  • Statement Supporting the Motion - PDF | Word
    (if someone other than the moving party has a statement to make)
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (if the other party has disagreed with the motion and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Objection to Form of Order - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order)
Forms for the Opposing Party

Required forms for the opposing party
  • Memorandum Opposing Motion - PDF | Word
Optional forms for the opposing party
  • Counter Motion - PDF | Word
    (if the opposing party has new arguments to make in response to the moving party's motion)
  • Affidavit with Exhibit(s) - PDF | Word
    (to be used with exhibits, if any)
  • Exhibit Summary - PDF | Word
    (to be used to describe voluminous exhibits, if any)
  • Stipulation to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
    (if the other party agrees to the motion after it has been filed)
  • Order on Motion to Appoint a Parent Coordinator - PDF | Word
    (if the opposing party is directed to complete the order)
  • Objection to Form of Order - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order)

Forms for Parent Coordinator

  • Parent Coordinator Qualification Statement - PDF | Word
  • Parent Coordinator Quarterly Report - PDF | Word

Related Information

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.


Page Last Modified: 8/22/2018
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